There are sounds a man can make blowing over a reed that bring down the walls. What Evan Parker does with his breath and dance of his fingers on the keys of the alto saxophone amaze, astonish and literally blow one away.
Thoughts vanish – impossible to compete with such vastness of expression.
He frees us from the prison of our minds. As Evan said quietly between the first astonishing riff and the next at SVA last Saturday night. ‘I have been playing so long, improvising to free myself and now I wonder if I am not creating another prison’. For us the listeners the opposite felt to be the truth.
His humble genius freed us, transported us on a voyage of discovery that had no destination, offered no solace, quite simply released us from ourselves.
I am not a musician. I do not understand music but then the beauty of music is that one does not have to understand, merely listen. I had no idea what to
expect, not having heard Evan Parker before, but with the first notes I was
jolted, jangled, shaken free, then I felt a physical jolt in my mind and I lost
The next morning, I wrote. I died last night. It was a beautiful experience
and today it is raining. I died last night inhabited by a sound that annulled
all the brain cells clamouring attention leaving a perfect void to receive and
let go into. All the bird song ever woken and the distant hoots of trains,
waves on the shore, snow silent as an empty page, love’s ache, bars of the cage – all vanished, for a man with a saxophone explored and discovered the timeless- ness of breath passing over a reed aided by the thoughtlessness of fingers.
It is a long time since I have experienced the essence of art – ‘the expression of the inexpressible.’ I did last Saturday experiencing the music of Evan Parker.
Rightly he has been described as ‘one of music’s greatest living
instrumentalists’. (The Times)